Oral History

The section that stood out the most to me in Della Pollock’s Introduction was the piece on the inmates that performed for a group of at-risk youth.  The question brought up at the end of this example was how can we perform questions instead of simply asking them?  This attitude serves to break down the performer/audience and self/other tensions in performance and oral history and allows for the process of growth.  The argument is made that the incorporation of these at risk youth in the inmates performance was more effective in creating a connection than a simple Q&A  that takes place afterwards.  In light of the conversations we have been having about protests and the whole #OccupyWallStreet movement I think this video really makes one think about how we “perform questions.”  How do our stories and histories ask these questions through experience and through action?

The part about 5 minutes in where the protestors chant to the NYPD is”who do you serve, who do you protect?” as they arrest protestors is a moment of performance.  The protestors are performing their questions and their grievances.  For me this video also drew connections between he GreenPeace article that we read on protest theater.


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